Mar 30, 2018 | By Tess

Open Bionics, a UK-based developer of low-cost 3D printed prosthetic hands, has received some exciting news. The company’s Hero Arm has become the first ever medically approved 3D printed bionic arm and will be available for purchase across the UK in private prosthetic clinics starting April 25, 2018.

Founded in 2014, Open Bionics has made a name for itself with the development of sophisticated bionic arms. The company, which has been promoting its low-cost 3D printed prosthetics for the past few years, is now finally ready to roll out its innovative assistive devices in a huge way.

With approval from the FDA and CE Marking, Open Bionics has opened registration for its 3D printed Hero Arm to people across the UK with below elbow upper-limb differences. The fully customized 3D printed prosthetics can be made to fit people as young as eight.

According to Open Bionics, the Hero Arm is “three times more affordable than competing multi-grip bionic arms.” But the 3D printed prosthetic offers more than just cost savings: it is fully customizable in terms of dimensions and style, it’s comfortable, and is equipped with sophisticated robotics that give the wearer various abilities.

“With the Hero Arm, technology is at your fingertips. Literally. Special sensors within the Hero Arm detect muscle movements, meaning you can effortlessly control your bionic hand with intuitive life-like precision,” says the company. “The Hero Arm is whatever you want it to be. With swappable covers, you can switch up your style to match your mood. And you can even design your own, using our super cool cover customiser.”

The Hero Arm is built from a range of custom-fit 3D printed components, including the hand, socket, and frame, which are embedded with “space-grade” motors, long-lasting batteries, and cutting-edge software.

Together, the separate components form a bionic arm with adaptable multi-grip control, a “freeze mode,” a posable wrist and thumb, and real-time feedback responses in the form of lights, sounds, and vibrations. The bionic arm itself is controlled by the wearer through special sensors which detect subtle muscle movements.

In terms of comfort, the 3D printed Hero Arm is lightweight and not too bulky, and integrates a socket that is all at once breathable, compressible & expandable, and easy to clean. Open Bionics also adds that despite its light weight, the 3D printed bionic arm is still strong and can lift up to 8 kilograms.

Last summer, it was revealed that the UK’s National Health Service was exploring the potential of offering Open Bionics’ 3D printed devices to patients. At the time, it launched a six-month clinical trial in which Open Bionics worked with a group of 10 children with limb differences to see how they fared with the low-cost prosthetic arms.

And though the clinical trial with the NHS is still underway (it is in its second phase), it is surely a good sign that the 3D printed bionic arm has been approved by the FDA and received CE Marking. As mentioned, registration for the low-cost 3D printed bionic devices is now open here, and the 3D printed arms will be available as of April 25th in private prosthetic clinics across the UK.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Scott wrote at 4/4/2018 12:32:28 AM:

Very bloody cool.

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